Expert Yuri Aronsky told how public associations support social equality in Turkmenistan.
A well-known scientist, chairman of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan (UET), representative of the Coordinating Council of the International Union of Economists, as well as an regular expert of the CentralAsia.news online media Yuri Aronsky spoke about the extensive and multifaceted activities of public organizations in Turkmenistan.
What is the point of voluntary associations?
The economy of Turkmenistan has been developing quite successfully over the years of independence. And already today, stable socio-economic growth, reserves of natural resources, the work in conditions of peace and stability, make it possible to optimistically assess further steps in the development of the national economy. It is confirmed by the independent authoritative international rating agency «Fitch Ratings», which assigned a long-term rating to Turkmenistan — «B + stable». Such recognition provides additional opportunities for our country in foreign economic activity, confirming its reliability as a trading partner.
All links of civil society — the public sector, business and public organizations are related to the merits of the successful sustainable development of the Turkmen state. Their well-coordinated joint work contributed to a high level of the corresponding process.
A public organization is an association of citizens based on common interests and goals. More specifically, we can say that a public organization is a membership-based association created on the basis of joint activities to protect common interests and achieve the statutory goals of united citizens. All public organizations of the country were created on the initiative of citizens in accordance with the Law of Turkmenistan «On Public Associations».
If in Soviet times the tasks of the organization mainly focuses on helping the population in solving social problems, logistics in organizing state events and participating in various holidays and celebrations, then under the conditions of the Turkmen independence, the role of the public organizations has significantly expanded. In the country, they include political parties, movements, civil initiatives, environmental movements, associations of people by interests.
Public organizations successfully work both with government agencies and business, as well as with a number of international organizations. These are UN agencies, projects of the European Union, the World, Asian and European Banks and USAID, as well as the embassies of various countries. This activity is focused on the joint solution of certain urgent tasks for society and citizens of the country.
The most active public organizations have established themselves in the field of sports, health protection, promotion of a healthy lifestyle, work with persons with disabilities, in solving environmental problems, development of the national economy and entrepreneurship, culture and art.
A number of large public organizations operate in Turkmenistan. These are the Women’s Union, the Youth Union, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, they are well known and have branches in all regions of the country. But I would like to tell you about several not so well-known public organizations of more than 120 registered and actively working in Turkmenistan organizations in various spheres of life of our society.
Public organization «Yenme»
It was created in 2012 on the initiative of several proactive people who have a great desire to provide social support to vulnerable groups of the population.
The purpose of the organization is to integrate into society and social adaptation of children and adults with disabilities, elderly and low-income citizens, everyone who is in a difficult life situation. The organization uses a principle «We are different but equal».
As part of the social direction, the Yenme public organization implements programs aimed at capacity building, social adaptation and inclusion of vulnerable groups, raising awareness of gender sensitivity, professional self-determination of youth, combating human trafficking, reproductive rights of women with disabilities.
In recent years, a modern production basis has been created at Yenme. It makes it possible to train young people with disabilities in a number of specialties, as well as to give people the digital skills that are so much in demand today.
Public organization «Keyik Okara»
It was created in 1998 by a group of like-minded people united by the idea of helping people, the least protected people in conditions of socio-economic development.
The mission of the organization is to contribute to the implementation of socio-economic, cultural and educational programs in Turkmenistan, strengthen the educational potential and sustainable development of the family, protect its interests, provide prompt targeted assistance to all categories of needy families and their adaptation to modern conditions of economic development.
The main activities of the organization:
— Provision of information and consulting services on healthy lifestyles, socio-economic, psychological and legal issues;
— Development of educational, awareness-raising programs and projects to improve the social image of citizens and the stable development of the family;
— Provision of advisory, legal and social assistance to refugees and stateless persons;
— Conducting educational events in the form of trainings, competitions, exhibitions, conferences;
— Attracting and training volunteers in order to expand and improve the effectiveness of the organization;
Union of Economists of Turkmenistan
This association was formed in 1992 on the initiative of a number of well-known economists and scientists of the country. The main purpose of creating the Union was to unite workers of management systems, economists, accountants, teachers of economics and representatives of science to help the government and the population of the country in the transition of the state to a market economy.
Within the framework of this priority goal, the Union of Economists is consistently solving the following main tasks:
— Carrying out research and design work in the field of forecasting and studying the economy, labor market, improving financial and accounting activities;
— Organization and conduct of training of the population, first of all, schoolchildren, students and young entrepreneurs on the basics of a market economy and business, as well as retraining of economic personnel, teachers, members of the Union of Economists;
— Release of scientific, methodological and educational literature in the field of economics and finance, digital and personal skills; coverage in the national and international press of socio-economic achievements and further development of the country;
— Preparation and submission of proposals for improving the country’s legislative framework in the field of economics, finance, valuation, accounting and social policy to the Parliament and the Government of the country;
— Advisory support for business, primarily for the development of small and medium-sized businesses, the introduction of innovations and digital technologies;
— Training and certification of accountants, appraisers and consultants in accordance with national and international standards.
It should be noted that for all the tasks set above, the organization has achieved significant results, which are highly appreciated both domestically and internationally.
Union of Architects
This organization plays an important role in the development of professional staff of architects, as well as in the development of architecture and urban planning in Turkmenistan. Throughout its history, the Union participated in the implementation of state programs for the social and cultural development of Turkmenistan, in the revival of the best traditions of national architecture and actively helped in the implementation of state policy in the field of urban planning.
During the years of independence, the Union of Architects took part in a number of state and public events, carried out activities to promote the achievements of Turkmen architecture in national and foreign mass media.
In close cooperation with the parliament and the Ministry of Construction and Architecture of Turkmenistan, as well as the leadership of Ashgabat, members of the Union participated in the development and consideration of a number of important urban planning documents and standards, projects of buildings and structures.
The brightest projects of Turkmen architects, presented by the Union at international contests in other countries, were given the highest awards. In particular, this is the complex of the International University of Oil and Gas — the Grand Prix and the Gold Medal of the Competition in Minsk, the Gurbanguly-Haji Mosque in Mary — the first-degree diploma of the Competition in Moscow and others.
Mountaineering club «AGAMA»
This public association was registered in 1993. It brings together over 100 people of different ages from 14 to 70 years old. The purpose of creating the Club is to unite lovers of mountain travel and climbing, to teach young people to stay in the mountains safely, to give the skills of mountain climbing technology and the possibility of its improvement.
The main areas of activity are the popularization of a healthy lifestyle among young people. Training and professional development of the coaching team, training in general walking tourism principles and the ability to orientate on the ground.
The socially useful activity of the organization extends in several directions. Work with people with disabilities: conversations, meetings, lectures, hikes, trainings, hikes in the mountains. Environmental actions: planting trees, cleaning territories, places often visited by tourists and vacationers, arrangement of springs. The Club’s rescue team has repeatedly come to the aid of people injured in the mountains.
It is difficult to highlight in detail the activities of even these five public organizations from different spheres of our life in just one article. But the above examples of work in different areas and spheres of activity show that very significant and sustainable results can be achieved with the joint efforts of government agencies, business companies and public organizations.